The Five Day Rule

The Social Security Administration has recently enacted a new rule that has great importance concerning the timely submission of medical evidence. The new rule is called the Five Day Rule because it requires all medical evidence to be submitted 5 business days before the court hearing. Frankly put, the rule states that if the attorney does not submit medical evidence 5 business days before the court hearing, the judge does not have to consider the evidence.

Thus, if  doctors or hospitals do not get records to the law firm representing the claimant, the judge can just disregard the evidence altogether. There are three exceptions to the rule:

(1) The Social Security Administration misled you; (2) you had a physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitation(s) that prevented you from informing Social Security about submitting the evidence; or (3) some other unusual, unexpected, or unfavorable circumstance beyond your control prevented you from informing Social Security about submitting the evidence earlier.

Most of the late evidence submission will likely involve analysis as to whether the evidence was actively and diligently sought. In such cases, judges will be looking at whether the attorney was duly diligent in ordering and obtaining the medical records. The attorney will have to give details as to the cooperation of the medical facility in getting the records.

Our office prides itself on submitting medical evidence in a timely manner. With this in mind, we are pleading that doctors and clinics promptly provide their records. This five day rule means you can no longer show up to your hearing holding a big pile of medical records and expect the judge to review them. We request all medical records well in advance of a hearing and follow up with the doctors’ offices to make sure that the request was received and is being worked on. We do not want to be in a situation where important medical evidence is not considered in a disability case.

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